Parker Solar Probe Successfully Launched on an Unprecedented
22 Oct 2018
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe – mankind’s first mission to ‘touch’ the Sun – successfully completed a flyby of Venus at a distance of about 2,415 kilometers during its first gravity assist from the planet, according to the US space agency.
These gravity assists will help the spacecraft tighten its orbit closer to the Sun over the course of the mission, NASA said in a statement.
Detailed data from the flyby will be assessed which allows the flight operations team to prepare for the remaining six Venus gravity assists which will occur over the course of the seven-year mission, it said.
Parker Solar Probe was successfully launched on August 12 on an unprecedented, seven-year long journey to unlock the mysteries of the Sun’s fiery outer atmosphere and its effects on space weather.
The mission’s findings will help researchers improve their forecasts of space weather events, which have the potential to damage satellites and harm astronauts on orbit, disrupt radio communications and, at their most severe, overwhelm power grids.